book recommendations?

Old Jan 13th, 2008, 05:55 PM
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book recommendations?

Hi,

We're headed to New Zealand this April and I was wondering if anyone could recommend some good books to read prior to going there. Not travel guides, but maybe a history or something else (even a good fiction book) that would give us more of a feel for the country than Loneley Planet/Fodors/Frommers.

Thanks for any help!

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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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You might be interested in The Bone People by Keri Hulme.

Not one of my favorite reads, but it was definitely memorable.
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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 07:37 PM
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Have to agree with you Melnq8. To this day I'm not sure how I feel about that book!
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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 10:14 PM
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Once were Warriors by Alan Duff.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 12:46 AM
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Janet Frame's Towards Another Summer. A fabulous exhibition catalogue of one of the finest Antipodean modernist painters, Colin MacCahon, A Question of Faith.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 06:46 AM
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I recommend "Slipping Into Paradise", by Jeffrey Masson. Mr. Masson is a man who has lived in many places throughout the world, and could choose to live anywhere. He explains why he has chosen New Zealand as his permanent home.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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Susan7, thanks for mentioning that book. I didn't know about it.

Her autobiography is probably the easiest to find and read. The film "An Angel at My Table" is available on Netflix if you don't have time for the book.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Blue Latitudes, by Tony Horwitz, has an interesting chapter on New Zealand.

Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera (I think I may have messed up his last name). The movie is good too.

Lee Ann
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 05:45 PM
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If you are into easy reading of fiction, you could try Weeping Waters. It is based on fact, on a volcanic eruption that wiped out a train and killed hundreds of people on Christmas eve a few decades ago.

There's good information in there about Maori culture.

It's an easy read.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 06:07 PM
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Thank you so much for all the recommendations. This is just the info I was looking for. I am placing an order on amazon tonight!
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 02:11 AM
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Video/DVD - Billy Connolly's World Tour of New Zealand.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 12:49 AM
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Some historical novels you might consider.

"Plumb" by Maurice Gee - one of NZ's best loved writers but not much known abroad I guess. Also "In my Father's Den" which was made into a film about 4 years ago, starring Matthew Macfadyen (who I just love).

"Colours" by Rose Tremain, who is not a New Zealander, but still a good read.

Many other notable works have been mentioned already,. And there must surely be a Penguin history of NZ!!

There is (and available on Amazon) - not read it, but could be worth checking out.

Cheers.
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